. Brad Gorham,
. Research activities

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This page lists some of the research Professor Gorham has worked on or is currently working on. This includes his research on race and television news, research with the attention research group from Wisconsin, and research on media allusions.

 

 

Publications

 

 

 

 

The Social Psychology of Stereotypes: Implications for Media Audiences. (2009). In Rebecca Lind (Ed.) Race/Gender/Media: Considering Diversity Across Audiences, Content, and Producers (2nd edition). Allyn & Bacon.

Gorham, B.W. (2006). News media's relationship with stereotyping: The linguistic intergroup bias in response to crime news. Journal of Communication, 56, 289 - 308.

Gorham, B.W.  (2005).  Making the invisible visible.  In C. Pieraccini & D. Alligood (Eds.), Color Television: Fifty Years of African American and Latino Images on Prime Time Television.  New York:  Kendall Hunt Publishing.

Gorham, B.W. (1999). Stereotypes in the media: So What? The Howard Journal of Communications, 10, 229-247.

Hawkins, R. P., Pingree, S., Hitchon, J., Radler, B., Gorham, B. W.,Kahlor,L., Gilligan, E., Serlin, R.C., Schmidt, T., Kannaovakun, P., and Kolbeins, G. H. (2006) What Produces Television Attention and Attention Style? Genre, Situation, and Individual Differences as Predictors, Human Communication Research, 31:1, 162 — 187.

Hawkins, R. P., Pingree, S., Hitchon, J., Gilligan, E., Kahlor, L., Gorham, B. W., Radler, B., Kannaovakun, P., Schmidt, T., Kolbeins, G. H., Wang, C. and Serlin, R.C. (2002). What Holds Attention to Television? Strategic Inertia of Looks at Content Boundaries. Communication Research, Vol. 29, No. 1, 3-30.

Hawkins, R. P., Pingree, S., Hitchon, J., Gorham, B. W., Kannaovakun, P., Gilligan, E., Radler, B., Kolbeins, G. H. and Schmidt, T. (2001) 'Predicting Selection and Activity in Television Genre Viewing', Media Psychology, 3:3, 237 — 263.

Pingree, S., Hawkins, R.P., Hitchon, J., Gilligan, E., Radler, B., Kahlor, L., Gorham,B.W., Kolbeins. G.H., Schmidt, T. and Kannaovakun, P. (2001). If College Students Are Appointment Television Viewers … Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 45(3), 446-463.

 

 

Conference papers

 

Gorham, B.W., Alessandri, S.W., and Kinsey, D.F.  (2007). The problem of athletic visual identity and Native American imagery:  A pilot study.  Presented to the Multicultural Issues division of the Broadcast Education Association annual conference, Las Vegas, April.  Top Faculty Paper.

Gorham, B.W.  (2006).  “Motivations to respond without prejudice and their relationships with local news orientations.”  Presented to the Mass Communication & Society division, AEJMC annual conference, San Francisco, August.

Gorham, B.W. & Gilligan, E.N.  (2006).  “Are you talkin’ to ME?  The reasons for using media allusions.”  Presented to the Language and Social Interaction division of the International Communication Association annual conference, Dresden, Germany, June.

Gorham, B.W.  (2006). “News media use and partisan stereotypes.”  Presented at the scholar to scholar session (Research Division) at the Broadcast Education Association annual conference, Las Vegas, April.

Gorham, B.W.  (2005). “Revisiting the Invisible Continent: Australia’s ‘Official’ Image on U.S. Network News.” A paper presented to the annual Global Fusion Conference, Athens, OH, September.

Gorham, B.W.  (2005). “Stereotyping communities, not individuals:  Effects of race on audience interpretations of factors that lead to criminal behavior.” A paper presented to the Minorities and Communication division of the AEJMC annual conference, San Antonio, TX, August.  Third place faculty paper

Gorham, B.W.  (2005).  “The linguistic intergroup bias in response to crime news.”  A paper presented to the Mass Communication Division of the International Communication Association, New York, NY, May.

Gorham, B.W. & Gilligan, E.N.  (2002).  "The linguistic intergroup bias in interpretations of a race-related crime story."  A paper presented to the Minorities and Communication Division of the AEJMC annual conference, Miami Beach, Fl., August.

Hawkins, R.P., Pingree, S., Hitchon, J., Gilligan, E., Kahlor, L., Gorham, B.W., Kannaovakun, P., Radler, B., Schmidt, T., Kolbeins, G.H., & Wang, C. (2001).  What holds attention to television?  Strategic inertia of looks at content boundaries.  Information Systems Division, ICA annual conference, Washington, DC, May.  Top faculty paper

Hawkins, R.P., Pingree, S., Hitchon, J., Radler, B., Gorham, B.W., Kahlor, L., Gilligan, E., Serlin, R.C., Schmidt, T., Kannaovakun, P., & Kolbeins, G.H. (2001).  Genre, situation, person, and media perceptions as predictors of television attention and attention style.  A paper presented to the Mass Communication Division of ICA for the annual conference, Washington, DC, May.

Kahlor, L., Gorham, B.W., & Gilligan, E.N.  (1999).  “A reconceptualization of cultivation as ‘good theory’ with help from the ‘thin ideal.’” A paper presented to the Communication Theory & Methodology Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, New Orleans, LA, August.

Hawkins, R.P., Pingree, S., Hitchon, J., Gorham, B.W., Kannaovakun, P., Kahlor, L., Gilligan, E., Radler, B., Kolbeins, G.H., & Schmidt, T.  (1999).  “Predicting Selection and Activity in Television Genre Viewing.” Presented to the Mass Communication Division at the annual conference of the International Communication Association, San Francisco, CA, May.

Gorham, B.W.  (1998).  “Doin’ What Comes Naturally:  Stereotypes, Nature, and Social Dominance.”  Minorities and Communication Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual conference, Baltimore, MD, August.

Gorham, B.W. & Gilligan, E.N.  (1997).  “And Now for Something Completely Different:  Media Allusions, Language, and the Practice of Everyday Life.”  Language and Social Interaction Division, International Communication Association annual conference, Montreal, Quebec, May.

Gorham, B.W.  (1996).  “Aboriginal Broadcasting in Contemporary Australia:  Top Down and Bottom Up?”  Intercultural and Development Communication Division, International Communication Association annual conference, Chicago, IL, May.  Top student paper

Gorham, B.W.  (1995).  “Stereotypes in the Media:  So What?”Mass Communication and Society Division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual conference, Washington, DC, August. Top student paper

Pfau, M. & Gorham, B.W.  (1995).  “Influence of Public Relations Materials on Journalists’ Attitudes and Practices.”  Public Relations Division, International Communication Association annual conference, Albuquerque, NM, May.

 

 

 

 

     

Research on race and television news

 

 

This is my main research focus. I am interested in how our processing of messages about race can support or challenge dominant ideologies about race. Media messages can help educate us about and promote tolerance and acceptance of people from different social groups, but they can also reinforce and perpetuate existing negative stereotypes. By better understanding the complex relationships between audience identity, perceptions of others, and the processing of media messages about social groups, we will be better able to construct more inclusive media messages.

 

 
  • Gorham, B.W. (2006). News media's relationship with stereotyping: The linguistic intergroup bias in response to crime news. Journal of Communication, 56, 289 - 308.
 

ABSTRACT
This paper examines the linguistic intergroup bias (LIB) in the context of people's interpretations of a race-related television news story. The LIB suggests that people use more abstract language to describe stereotype-congruent behaviors, particularly when that person is a member of an out-group. This study of 208 White adults manipulates the race of a suspect in a TV news crime story and examines how race influences the abstractness of the language viewers use to describe the suspect. The findings offer support for the LIB being induced by crime news and show that news media use is significantly related to the presence of the LIB. This suggests that stereotypical news coverage may subtly influence the interpretations people make about members of other social groups.

 
  • Gorham, B.W. (1999). Stereotypes in the media: So What? The Howard Journal of Communications, 10, 229-247.
 

ABSTRACT

This paper is an attempt to provide a satisfying theoretical framework for
how stereotypical representations in media texts can link social-level racial
myths with individual-level cognition. Barthes’ theories about semiotic signs
and myths are examined and linked with models from cognitive psychol-
ogy concerning human memory and processing of categorical information.
Using language as a medium, Livingstone’s interpretive framework is pro-
posed as the link that connects mythical social understandings with real
cognitive processing phenomena.

 

 
       

Research with the Attention Research Group

 

 

 

The Attention Research Group was started by Professosr Robert Hawkins, Suzanne Pingree and Jacqueline Hitchon at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. We collected a mountain of data about how people watched television, and the data yielded a number of interesting studies concerning motivation, attentional inertia, and other issues.

 

 
  • Hawkins, R. P., Pingree, S., Hitchon, J., Gorham, B. W., Kannaovakun, P., Gilligan, E., Radler, B., Kolbeins, G. H. and Schmidt, T. (2001) 'Predicting Selection and Activity in Television Genre Viewing', Media Psychology, 3:3, 237 — 263.
 

ABSTRACT

“Active” television viewing has meant (among other things) selective
exposure to types of content, attention to that content, and several different
kinds of other activities during viewing itself. This study argues that such
meanings are differently predicted by three types of predictors (individuals’
gratifications sought from different television genres, their expertise with
these genres, and their need for cognition), and also vary by genre. Two
different instrumental reasons for viewing (mood and content preference) both
predicted selective viewing and thinking while viewing, but only content
preference predicted attentive viewing. Casual reasons for viewing were
related to less viewing and more channel surfing behavior. Need for cognition
was unrelated to variation in genre viewing, but it was related in differing but
sensible ways to attention to different genres.
These results support the utility of genre in differentiating processes in
television viewing and further argue for making a number of distinctions in
research: between genres, between gratifications, between gratifications and
other predictors, and between selective viewing and during-viewing activities.

 
  • Hawkins, R. P., Pingree, S., Hitchon, J., Gilligan, E., Kahlor, L., Gorham, B. W., Radler, B., Kannaovakun, P., Schmidt, T., Kolbeins, G. H., Wang, C. and Serlin, R.C. (2002). What Holds Attention to Television? Strategic Inertia of Looks at Content Boundaries. Communication Research, Vol. 29, No. 1, 3-30.
 

ABSTRACT

Looks at television that cross content boundaries (both between and within programming) provide an opportunity to examine the causes of attentional inertia—that looks at television become very much more stable after the first few seconds. Previous research left unresolved whether this inertia is due to expectations or biologic processes (strategic vs. nonstrategic processes), and this study allows direct comparisons. The strength of the inertial relationship varied considerably for different kinds of program boundaries, and also for within-program boundaries, with the latter varying as well by the genre in which they were contained. Taken together, the results provided no evidence for nonstrategic, biological processes causing attentional inertia. Instead, several genre-specific explanations based on expectations and cognitive demands are proposed.

 
  • Hawkins, R. P., Pingree, S., Hitchon, J., Radler, B., Gorham, B. W.,Kahlor,L., Gilligan, E., Serlin, R.C., Schmidt, T., Kannaovakun, P., and Kolbeins, G. H. (2006) What Produces Television Attention and Attention Style? Genre, Situation, and Individual Differences as Predictors, Human Communication Research, 31:1, 162 — 187.
 

ABSTRACT
Individual looks at television vary enormously in length, and this has previously indicated differences in ongoing cognitive processes. Furthermore, the relative frequency of looks of different lengths may indicate styles of attention to television. This article compares visual attention of 152 subjects across a variety of genres and examines differences located by situation, person, and media perception variables. Attention style was not consistent for individuals but varied for different types of programming and between-program breaks. Situational, person, and media belief variables did not predict the proportions of four types of looks. They did, however, predict differences in the proportion of moderately short (orienting) looks across types of content, but not the previously more important very short (monitoring) or moderately long (engaged) looks. The overall importance of type of content in these results suggests that further research should examine within-program differences in message construction and assess attentional style as patterns or sequences of looks.

 

 
  • Pingree, S., Hawkins, R.P., Hitchon, J., Gilligan, E., Radler, B., Kahlor, L., Gorham,B.W., Kolbeins. G.H., Schmidt, T. and Kannaovakun, P. (2001). If College Students Are Appointment Television Viewers … Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media 45(3), 446-463.
 

ABSTRACT

Whether television viewers are selective or passive has generally drawn its findings from two non-overlapping research traditions. Research showing little audience selectivity in aggregite audiences may stem from how the aggregate is defined-an idea pursued here with an examination of college student viewing. Results from a week of viewing show evidence of both structural and individual determination of selection. These results suggest additional qualifications on use of student samples for communication researc

 
       

Media Allusions

 

 

A Congressman from Wisconsin once complained that the intrigue in the capitol reminded him of everyone trying to be the Minister of Silly Walks. That is a media allusion, in this case to the classic skit shown below from Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Eileen Gilligan, a professor at SUNY Oswego, and I are researching why people use media allusions. We have presented research on this at ICA and are completing a manuscript on this area now.